“Studies have shown that more than 70% of women will get stretch marks during pregnancy. Many will see the purple or white lines appear on their abdomen, thighs, arms and breasts. The stretch marks form when the skin rapidly expands and its elastic tissue tears.” Source: sheknows.com

I recently wrote a post How I’ve learnt to love my body – to be honest, it took me a long time to admit to myself that I wasn’t comfortable in my skin, because with my first pregnancy I never got any stretch marks on my stomach. I expected it to be the same this time around, but it wasn’t. Early in pregnancy I started getting stretch marks – something I wasn’t really prepared for. It made me emotional and found myself avoiding a mirror.

Can you prevent stretch marks during pregnancy? Yes, you can! I think one of the biggest contributions towards my stretch marks was lack of exercise and water.

1. Hydration

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Experts suggest that pregnant women should drink up to 10 glasses of water a day. (I think I’d probably just live in the toilet)…

2. Eating healthily

Eating food rich in vitamins A, C and E helps maintain your skin’s elasticity – fresh fruit, dark green leafy vegetables, colourful root and fruity veg, and whole grains are the best foods.

3. Exercising

Did you know that exercising can help your skin retain its elasticity by improving circulation? It will also help strengthen your body and flexibility.

Tip: Avoid gaining too much weight, too fast. Do not take the advice of ‘eating for two’ seriously. Baby will always get the nutrition and vitamins he/she needs from you. You don’t need to necessarily double your portions. Eating small meals/snacks throughout the day is better than eating three heavy meals.